Dar es Salaam — The minister for Finance Dr Philip Mpango has ordered, today September 9, the forfeiture of diamond worth $29.5 million (Sh65 billion) which was impounded at the Julius Nyerere International Airport on August 31.
The minister gave the order when he paid an impromptu visit at the airport to inspect the gemstones that were impounded a few minutes before it was exported by Petra Diamonds to Belgium but whose value had been under declared. The visit was beamed live on national television, TBC1.
The minister also gave the order after the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) officials, who were present, said that as per the East Africa Community Customs Management Act 2004, section 210(G) any consignment that is to be imported or exported but whose value is, knowingly, under declared, will be nationalised.
The section reads; "In addition to any other circumstances in which goods are liable to forfeiture under this Act, the following goods shall be liable to forfeiture... that any goods in respect of which, in any matter relating to the Customs, any entry, declaration, certificate, application or other document, answer, statement or representation, which is knowingly false or knowingly incorrect in any particular has been delivered, made or produced."
Dr Mpango also ordered the arrest and confiscation of property of all government officials who have caused loss to the government because of negligence of complicity in overseeing gemstone export in the country.
"We cannot let people continue enjoying the fruits of corruption. We must take appropriate steps," Dr Mpango noted.